Opportunities can be identified, and action can be taken, by implementing environmental accounting as part of a sustainability plan. Plans should prioritize actions based on the return on investment for taxpayers and meet energy, water, and waste-reduction targets. An organization’s plan to cut emissions may include making infrastructure improvements, reducing fossil fuel use, and implementing better maintenance practices.
Environmental Accounting (EMA) is broadly defined as the identification, collection, analysis, dissemination, and use of physical flow information (materials, energy and water flows), environmental cost information, and other monetary information for both conventional and environmental decision-making within an organisation. This definition of EMA is similar to the definition of conventional management accounting, but has several key differences:
- EMA places particular emphasis on identifying environmental costs, including the costs of producing waste;
- EMA includes information on physical flows and use of materials, water, and energy, as well as cost information;
- EMA information is particularly useful for activities and decisions with environmental impacts.
Environmental Accounting is an important function that provides firms with a means to incorporate information with business decision making and business operations.
- Information Gathering – environmental monitoring, environmental auditing, environmental impact assessment, environmental risk assessment, life cycle analysis
- Managerial Accounting – activity based costing, environmental accounting, value chain analysis
- Business Strategy – design for environment, green marketing, business re-engineering, environmental strategy, business operations, activity based management, total quality management, pollution prevention, product stewardship
At the conclusion of this series and successful completion of the post-module tests, the student will be able to:
- Describe the value, four goals, and key elements of an effective environmental management system (EMS) program.
- Explain current international standards for environmental management standards, how they have evolved, and their benefits and limitations.
- Explain implementation of an environmental management system.
- Discuss the basic elements of environmental accounting, associated eco-efficiency metrics, and the accounting elements of sustainability planning.
- Describe the steps used in identifying, calculating, and tracking greenhouse gases in relation with the Green House Gas (GHG) protocol.
- General Environmental Management Systems Guidance
- International Standards
- Environmental Management System Implementation
- Planning for Environmental Accountability
- Tracking Carbon Emissions
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